Yangyel Lhaden 

Bhutan Space Week (BSW) 2022 is calling for space-related activity proposals from teachers across the country. A committee will select six proposals, each of which will receive a Nu 100,000 grant.

BSW is an annual week-long event of space promotion, outreach, and education observed from February 17 to 23. It was initiated in 2020 to commemorate the 40th birth anniversary of His Majesty The King.

Focal officer for BSW, Yeshey Choden, said that the main objective of calling for proposals from teachers is to encourage youth participation. “To connect with the youth, it is important to call for proposals from their teachers.”

She said that due to the important role of the teaching profession and the effort of teachers in creating awareness about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to young people, the BSW team decided to give an opportunity to our teachers to contribute this year. “We hope all teachers will take this opportunity and showcase their innovative ideas for observing BSW 2022.”

The First BSW was celebrated in Thimphu by bringing in student participants from different dzongkhags, and last year, BSW was celebrated virtually using online mass media and social media platforms.

The award is not school-specific and teachers across the country in groups of three to five can come up with space-related activities centred around the theme of BSW 2022: ‘Space Inspires’.

Yeshey Choden said the proposal should consist of at least two activities related to space, astronomy, rocket science, and space-related science or technology.

She said the immediate goal of the teachers’ award initiative was to gather not less than 350 participants per celebration, spread across one week, and the celebrations are expected to be full of fun and learning. “Space science and technology can be used as an inspiration to nurture interest in our youth for STEM.”

She said that the proposal reviewing committee would ensure that the celebrations would be well-distributed geographically so that every young person has the opportunity to participate and the celebrations can involve school and local communities alike. “Students can participate in nearby celebrations.”

Meanwhile, the last day for the submission of proposals is November 22, and selected proposals will be announced on December 1.

Yeshey Choden said that in the long run, the BSW teachers’ award is expected to develop into a platform for our innovative and hardworking teachers to contribute to STEM education in their own capacities.

Interested teachers can find more information about the proposal at https://bit.ly/3AA4H9K

Edited by Tashi Dema